Havana Travel Blog› entry 113 of 134 › view all entries
Our second day in Cuba was spent looking at the new section of Havana. We first visited a farmers market where locals come to buy produce they can't secure through the official channels. Most of the fruit and veg is purchased here. The government shops stock basic supplies and many are hard to come by. I was often stopped by women asking for shampoo, shower gel and basic toiletries as they are so hard to come by.
We visited Revolution Square which can hold up to 1 million people and has been used for rallies in the past. Jose Marti - the national hero of Cuba sits proudly in the middle of the square. There to inspire and guide all Cubans and flanked by buildings with the image of Camilla and of course Che.
We also visited a UNESCO world heritage site - the National Cuba Hotel where many famous guests have stayed. It's hard to imagine so many famous people here during such a period of turmoil, but many came before and after the Revolution, clearly as impressed by the country as we were. The Malacon (sea wall) that runs alongside the hotel is the only place where people are not allowed to stop. That's because the "Centre for American Interests" is here and they have in the past broadcast adverts about the injustices in Cuba and as such people are not allowed to pause here incase they read the messages!
Finally that night we got the chance to see some Cuban Salsa in action in a local bar and at the Florida Hotel. The salsa is faster and has more intrictae footwork and turns than the rest of Latin American Salsa i've seen so far. What was really apparent was the joy in people's faces as they danced and played music. They just came to life. It seems whatever freedoms you take from people they will always find an outlet ... i think music is it in Cuba.